Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Neal Shusterman's UNWIND Dystology is on the New York Times Best Seller's List

Neal Shusterman's UNWIND Dystology (Simon and Schuster) has received many accolades. Now here's one more: the series is currently #9 on the New York Times' Times Best Seller's List - Children's series.

Congratulations, Neal! It couldn’t happen to a finer series.

The Washington Informer names Eloise Greenfield one of Washington, D.C.'s 50 top influencers

The Washington Informer named Eloise Greenfield, the author of a number of award-winning books, including AFRICA DREAM, which won the Coretta Scott King Award, and THE GREAT MIGRATION, NIGHT ON NEIGHBORHOOD STREET, NATHANIEL TALKING, CHILDTIMES, MARY McLEOD BETHUNE, and PAUL ROBESON, all Coretta Scott King Honor books, one of Washington, D.C.'s 50 top influencers and history-makers who have helped shape the city’s growth and progress over the past five decades. The Washington Informer, an award-winning African-American newspaper, was incorporated in Washington, D.C. in October 1964 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Ms. Greenfield and the other honorees were recognized at the Influencer Reception, a red carpet affair held at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2014. The author shared with us an excerpt from the announcement letter she received from the newspaper and we are, in turn, sharing it with you:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marilyn Singer's RUTHERFORD B., WHO WAS HE? is on the 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List

It was just recently announced that RUTHERFORD B., WHO WAS HE? (Hyperion/Disney) by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by John Hendrix is on the 2015-2016 Texas Bluebonnet Master List!

Consisting of 20 titles, the Master List is announced each year at the Texas Book Festival. Both fiction and nonfiction books are represented. Texas students vote for the Texas Bluebonnet winner, with voting taking place in January, and the award itself is presented to the winner at the Texas Library Association Conference, which will take place this year in Austin, TX from April 14-17, 2014.

Please join us in congratulating Marilyn Singer!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Dori Hillestad Butler dedicated THE GHOST BACKSTAGE to her 6th grade teacher

Dori Hillestad Butler's THE GHOST BACKSTAGE (Grosset & Dunlap), the third title in her 'The Haunted Library' series is the perfect treat for Halloween this year. Learn the story behind the book and why the former shy author dedicated it to her 6th grade teacher. Mr. Hartshorn gets an A+ for this!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Michael Delaney, author of OBI, GERBIL ON THE LOOSE! is now a Balkin Buddy

We'd like to officially welcome author/illustrator Michael Delaney (also known as M.C. Delaney) to the "More Authors" section of the Balkin Buddies list of authors by telling you about one of his books:

Some of Michael's other books include OBI: GERBIL ON A SCHOOL TRIP (Penguin); OBI, GERBIL ON A MISSION! (Penguin) and BIRDBRAIN AMOS (Penguin).  

Please join us in giving Michael a warm welcome.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

James Ransome's MY NAME IS TRUTH receives a starred review in Publishers Weekly

MY NAME IS TRUTH: THE LIFE OF SOJOURNER TRUTH (HarperCollins) by Ann Turner and illustrated by James Ransome received another starred review, this time in Publishers Weekly:

As James Ransome will no doubt be getting a lot of requests for school visits during Black History Month, be sure to book him well in advance. Just contact Balkin Buddies and we’ll be happy to help arrange a visit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

James Ransome's MY NAME IS TRUTH receives starred review in School Library Journal

MY NAME IS TRUTH: THE LIFE OF SOJOURNER TRUTH (HarperCollins) by Ann Turner and illustrated by James Ransome received this starred review in the October 2014 issue of School Library Journal:

This picture book biography tackles the life of former slave and abolitionist Isabella Baumfree, better known as Sojourner Truth. Turner details the life of this pivotal figure, who was born into slavery in the late 18th century in New York, along with 11 siblings, all of whom were sold off. The account is told in first-person narrative, with Truth discussing how her different owners treated her and how she seized freedom for herself when one of them broke his promise to free her. Her journey culminated in her work as a preacher, and many spreads are dedicated to Truth displaying her power, passion, and poise as a speaker, spreading her antislavery message wherever she went. Turner makes effective use of dialect, and the well-crafted text reads like poetry or a monologue ("'Welcome,' they said/had ayone ever said that word to me before?/and showed me a fine wide room with a white bed to sleep in/I never slept in a bed before"). Rich, painterly watercolor illustrations effectively reflect the pain of Truth's past and the lyrical nature of her narrative, while the use of different fonts highlights the most crucial parts of the narrative. Those who are already somewhat familiar with Truth will get the most out of this book, and educators will find the author's note helpful in explaining this historical figure to students. A wonderful addition to collections of African American history that will also work well as a read-aloud.

--Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

To schools interested in having James come to their school to talk to their students, please contact Balkin Buddies and we’ll be happy to help arrange a visit.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anna Myers' TUMBLEWEED BABY reviewed in School Library Journal

School Library Journal gives a warm review to TUMBLEWEED BABY (Abrams), by Anna Myers (her first picture book after 19 novels!), and illustrated by Charles Vess:

Anna Myers is available for school visits to K to YA. Contact Balkin Buddies for further information.